L’Equipe report that Lorient are keen on selling to an English side but the player himself has admitted that it is Germany which he is hopeful of moving to, telling the French publication: “Now I feel like it’s time to leave, to join a club that is playing at a higher level.
“I want to join Monchengladbach. It is a club that relies on young people, there is a good structure, the team will play in the Europa League. This project pleases me and suits me.”
It appears as though European football might well have tipped the scales in favour of the Bundesliga side over the Irons, which will no doubt be a disappointing, but not fatal, blow to the east Londoners’ chances of signing him this summer. If they make a bid in excess of what Monchengladbach are offering, then Lorient will of course push their star man towards the London Stadium, perhaps even rejecting the Germans’ bid until they match or top the deal tabled by West Ham. You can understand why Manuel Pellegrini is keen on the 21-year-old – he is young, prolific and the perfect backup option to the likes of Marko Arnautovic up top, with Lucas Perez and Andy Carroll no longer at the club to call upon. It might take some work behind the scenes to convince Claude-Maurice to move to east London after this come and get me plea to the German outfit but you can never rule anything out in football.